How To Keep Bugs Off Succulents

Due of how simple they are to maintain, succulent plants are among the most common houseplants in America. Succulents are popular houseplants that are difficult to kill but are very vulnerable to pests. Unfortunately, due to their delicate exteriors, which are easily harmed during extermination, succulent plants pose more of a pest control challenge than other plant types. You’ve come to the proper place if you lack extermination experience. Here are four procedures you should follow to get rid of pests from your favourite succulents.

Identifying the afflicted plants is the first step in a successful pest removal. Aphids and mealybugs are the two most prevalent pests that attack succulent plants. Your plants may be afflicted with aphids if you see small dots on them. Aphids need to be removed from your plants as soon as possible since they can cause significant damage by suckling out the juice from your plants. As an alternative, mealybugs harm succulent plants the most and cause fuzzy white lumps on plants. Mealybugs are sap-eating insects with toxic saliva that can stunt plant growth and even cause leaves to drop too soon. No matter what kind of pest you find, it’s critical to take immediate action to prevent spread and plant damage.

It’s time to isolate the affected succulents once you’ve identified which plants are contaminated in order to stop the bugs from spreading. You may keep a closer eye on your diseased plants by isolating them, and you can give the plants that are not responding to treatment more attention.

Before introducing any new succulents you buy to your other plants, it’s a good idea to quarantine them in a different room for a few weeks. Before adding the plant to your collection of other succulents, you can cure it and personally remove any insects that were there when you purchased the plant.

Taking precautions for your succulents is one of the best methods to keep pests away from them. Preventative action taken early on will help you avoid a major headache later on. Every time you buy a new succulent, you should give it a systematic insecticide spraying while the plant is confined. Your succulent will be made poisonous to bugs by the insecticide, preventing harm. When you re-pot your plants, it’s a good idea to spray them again.

Spraying one of your existing succulents with 70% alcohol is an excellent technique to treat it if you want to avoid using chemicals to treat the infestation. Make sure to approach the plant from every possible aspect when doing this. If alcohol is unsuccessful, further options include using insecticidal soap, a solution of dish soap and water, or an insecticide spray. You can put your plant back with the others after it has been bug-free for 30 days.

Pests don’t necessarily disappear permanently just because you got rid of them from your succulents once. After all, plants are highly attractive to pests. Regularly inspect your succulents for signs of pests, and immediately quarantine any infected plants.

Repeat steps one through four if you discover pests in your succulents again. Use a professional pest control company’s services if you can’t get rid of the pests yourself.

There are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood that pests will harm your succulents, even though you cannot completely prevent this from happening.

  • Take out the dead leaves to make it harder for bugs to hide and reproduce. Eliminating dead leaves will also lessen the possibility of mold growth.
  • Keep your succulents as dry as possible. Pests tend to be drawn to moist soil.
  • Reusing soil or adding dead leaves from diseased plants to the compost pile are also prohibited.
  • During the growing season, keep your succulents healthy by fertilizing them with a gentle, balanced fertilizer.

What may be used as an insect spray on succulents?

When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.

After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.

If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.

Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:

Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs. &nbsp

Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents. &nbsp

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine. &nbsp

If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.

Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.

So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.

Why do my succulents have tiny bugs on them?

Mealybugs are disgusting little insects that like munching on succulent plants’ fresh growth. It’s difficult to pinpoint the specific reason why they appear, however overwatering and overfertilizing are frequently to blame. Due to the more mild temperatures, they frequently appear on indoor plants, although they can also be seen on outdoor succulents.

In the crevices of your succulent, these tiny creatures normally hang out in a white substance that resembles a web. Right where the leaves meet the stem is where they like to hide. They are consequently difficult to see and to kill.

Mealybugs can swiftly spread throughout a succulent and to other succulents nearby if they aren’t treated very once. They move so swiftly, which is both impressive and annoying. They consume the succulent as they move. This frequently stunts the plant’s growth, making the new growth oddly shaped or smaller than usual. If they remain too long, they could also leave some dents in the leaves.

Are indoor succulents a bug magnet?

The globe has been swept up in the succulent craze. They’ve succeeded in becoming everyone’s garden’s favorite plant. Some individuals believe they are resistant to pests. But is that even accurate? It is a good idea to inquire about if succulents attract bugs.

Yes, insects can be drawn to succulents. Succulents are resistant to pests, but they still manage to draw insects. Due to the high water content of these plants, they draw predators who like to feast on them in order to rehydrate.

Does bug spray work on succulents?

Sprays of insecticide are helpful against a variety of garden pests, including those that frequently inhabit succulent plants. Pests can be temporarily eliminated by spraying the plants with pesticides like acephate, dimethoate, dinotefuran, or pyrethroids that have been diluted in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Insects can subsequently reinfest your succulents if you don’t kill them completely on the neighboring plants as well. Apply only as often as directed on the product’s label.

Will my succulents be harmed by soapy water?

Although any soluble soap will work, liquid soaps are kinder to plants. Even less harsh will be insecticidal soap. However, you can just rinse after using dishwashing liquid. Plant the cactus only when it has totally dried out.

How do I keep aphids away from my succulent plants?

When dealing with pests such succulent mealybugs, spray rubbing alcohol on the area, or use a cotton swab to remove aphids from cracks and crevices and from leaves.

Combine the following for a homemade insecticidal soap and rubbing alcohol spray:

  • Water in five cups
  • rubbing alcohol in two glasses
  • liquid soap, one tablespoon worth

Spray the water, insect-killing soap, and oil mixture as directed, shaking the components in the spray bottle before use.

When the plant is free of aphids, carefully wash it and wait a few days for it to dry completely before repotting it in a new potting mix.


Test a small area first before spraying anything on your succulents or cactus.

Any of these components may cause harm to and disrupt this coating.

My plants. Can I put rubbing alcohol on them?

It’s a good idea to keep rubbing alcohol at home. It could be used to clean your gardening equipment. But does spraying it on your plants have any advantages?

Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on plants to clean leaves or act as a pesticide. To avoid leaf burn, dilute the alcohol with water before use. Because certain plants are sensitive to alcohol and suffer stem and leaf damage, test the diluted solution on a few plant leaves.

Can cinnamon be used with succulents?

An orange, cancer-like growth close to or on the stem is one indication of sickness in succulents. It most likely has a minute mite infection.

The succulent should be placed in a different container until fresh, healthy growth occurs after the contaminated tissue has been removed. After working with diseased succulents, properly clean your instruments to avoid spreading the infection to other plants.

Pockmarks appear on the leaves of aloes, gasterias, and other succulents as a result of another illness, which also seems to have bruised tissue.

The treatment consists of mixing two tablespoons of ground cinnamon into one pint of isopropyl alcohol, shaking it vigorously, letting it sit overnight, straining it through a coffee filter, then spraying it on the plants the following day. You might need to use a systemic disease control, which is available at nurseries and online, if this doesn’t work.

How frequently do succulents need to be watered?

During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.

A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.

How are indoor plant bugs eliminated?

When Acree returns home with a fresh plant, she immediately disposes of any pests by placing it in the bathtub. She tops the soil with pet- and kid-safe food-grade diatomaceous earth powder, which dries out the insects and their larvae, after lightly misting them with a natural DIY bug repellent that you can prepare with 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil and 1 cup of water.

Spray your plants

Making an insecticidal soap to spray on your plants is your best option if you’re dealing with soft-bodied pests like mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. While you may purchase one at the shop, it’s simple to make a DIY version with organic ingredients. Simply combine 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap (free of bleach, degreaser, synthetic colours, and scents), 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap in a spray bottle, then top it off with warm water and shake. Once a week, you can spray your plants with the combination to get rid of pest problems.

Dry out your plants

By simply eliminating the moisture, pests like fungus gnats that prefer damp soil in houseplants can be controlled. (Excuse me, gnats.) The best course of action in these types of circumstances, according to Susan Spanger, a professional gardener and floral designer at Bloomful Floral Design, is to water your plants less frequently than usual in order to let the top few inches of soil totally dry up.

You eliminate the source of food for fungus gnats—fungi in the soil—by not maintaining damp soil. The Sill claims that by letting it dry up, that important food source will be eliminated, which will also eliminate the fungus gnats. According to Spanger, you can also cover the top of your soil with a half-inch of sand. She claims that mature fungus gnats find the rough surface unpleasant and that it dries off soon. Those pests on the houseplants will never return.